Excerpt from McNally's Dilemma by Vincent Lardo, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

McNally's Dilemma

by Vincent Lardo

McNally's Dilemma by Vincent Lardo X
McNally's Dilemma by Vincent Lardo
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 1999, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2000, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


I wore a three-button blue suit and rep tie, à la Vance, and Allen-Edmond cordovan kilties. Except for the kilties the look was very un-Archy, but business is business.

Commandeering the stool next to Ginny, I opened with, "Givenchy?"

The lady was quick on the uptake. "How kind," she cooed. "But no. It's from a shop in South Beach. They call it a knockoff."

"A knockoff for a knockout," I retorted, wishing I had a waxed mustache to stroke. "May I buy you a drink?"

Ginny giggled. "I have always depended upon the kindness of strangers."

For this, Vivian Leigh and Tennessee Williams should have risen from their graves and strangled her.

One word led to another, one drink led to another, and Ginny's hand led to my thigh, a territory she seemed to know rather well. All of this led to her motel room, where she plied me with cheap gin and suggestive gestures. When her cavorting failed to arouse her supposed mark, Ginny grew a bit frantic and announced that she was going to adjourn to the bathroom and "slip into something comfortable."

This was my cue to ring down the curtain on this farce. "Forget it, my dear," I told Ginny, "your Richard Avedon ain't showing up tonight."

That got her attention. "What are you talking about?"

"Snap, snap, pop, pop, five grand, and Bob's your uncle."

"Are you a cop?"

"No, but as we speak, your partner is handing over his photographic endeavors to one of Palm Beach's finest."

The sudden realization that she had been set up caused her to lose her cool and she shouted, "You skunk. You . . ."

I held her wrists in a firm grip to keep her ruby-tinted claws from gouging out my eyes. "The fix was in all the while," she ranted. "What do you want from me?"

"Your cooperation."

To a woman in Ginny's profession, my retort had but one meaning. Her little hands stopped fighting my grip and she was once again ready to slip into something comfortable. "I wouldn't let him take your picture, Archy," she purred.

"Why not?"

"You know why not." She actually blushed as she spoke. Mata Hari, meet your master. "I like you, Archy."

Al Rogoff was not going to arrest her friend, for it would serve no purpose. Vance would have to press charges, and he might as well have the pair show the photos to Penny as do that. Al was going to put the fear of God in the guy and tell him and the lovely Ginny to get out of town.

But Ginny didn't know this, so when I said, "And I like you, Ginny. That's why I'm going to walk out of here and forget we ever met, if you hand over the negatives of last night's 'shoot'-and while you're at it, any other negatives you might be hoping to turn into ready cash."

Knowing a good deal when she heard one, Ginny complied while continuing to make suggestive gestures in hopes of a last minute reprieve. "Can I keep the ones from Disney World?" she asked.

"Absolutely not," I scolded.

I left with my cache, wondering if I had saved Mickey a lot of grief.

Father was in his den. I knocked.

"Come," he called.

He was sitting in the swivel chair behind his enormous desk, reading Dickens. "Yes, Archy?"

"The Tremaine case is closed, sir."

"Very good, Archy."

"Would you like to hear about it, sir?"

"No, Archy. Would you like a glass of port?"

"I think I would, sir."

And that, as they say, was that.

Reprinted from McNally's Dilemma by Vincent Lardo by permission of G. P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright © 1999 by Lawrence A. Sanders Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Word Is Murder
    The Word Is Murder
    by Anthony Horowitz
    A wealthy widow enters a London funeral home to make arrangements for her own funeral. Six hours ...
  • Book Jacket: Call Me American
    Call Me American
    by Abdi Nor Iftin
    As a boy growing up in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Abdi Nor Iftin loved watching action ...
  • Book Jacket
    Driving Miss Norma
    by Ramie Liddle, Tim Bauerschmidt
    In my cultural life, I've met and been awed by two Normas: The demanding, clueless, fiercely ...
  • Book Jacket
    Driving Miss Norma
    by Ramie Liddle, Tim Bauerschmidt
    In my cultural life, I've met and been awed by two Normas: The demanding, clueless, fiercely ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Salt Houses by Hala Alyan

From a dazzling new literary voice, a debut novel about a Palestinian family caught between present and past.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Place for Us
    by Fatima Farheen Mirza

    A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

If You See Me, Don't Say Hi by Neel Patel

Patel's stories introduce a bold and timely new literary voice.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A P Saved I A P E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.